How to receive Gmail notifications on the GNOME desktop


If you find the GNOME desktop environment not including Gmail notifications to be a hindrance, don’t worry. Jack Wallen shows you how to add this functionality using a simple extension.

Image: Google

Everyone loves a good notification. Otherwise, so many operating system developers wouldn’t constantly try to improve notification status in their environments. In fact, most mobile operating systems wouldn’t be as efficient without good notifications. For many types of users, the same is true on the desktop.

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If you’re one of those people who plans your day down to the second, you’re probably working in a fury, and the thought of missing a single missive could send you into a spiral of panic. Or you could wait to hear from a client or company about a new job. In other words, you need to stay informed 24/7. It’s the kind of world we live in. If you are not early, you are late.

One way to stay ahead of the game is to always be up to date on your communication. And one method of communication that is going nowhere is email. When you want to know what’s happening to your account, without having to take the time to verify that account, you turn to notifications.

The GNOME desktop environment does a very good job of notifying you when an email arrives. But one area it tends to miss is Gmail. If you are dependent on Gmail, the out-of-the-box experience with GNOME does not notify you when a new email arrives.

Fortunately, a developer took charge of creating an extension to integrate Gmail notifications into the system. It’s transparent and should be considered a must-have for anyone who depends on Gmail and uses the GNOME desktop environment. Best of all, this extension notifies you of incoming Gmail almost as soon as it arrives in your account. So there is virtually no delay.

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I know what you are thinking: why not just add your Gmail account to Thunderbird or Geary? This is very good and good for some accounts. But when you have a Gmail account with a very large amount of emails stored, these customers can get a bit buggy. Additionally, you may prefer to keep work and personal emails in silo.

Either way, now you have options.

Let’s install this extension so that you can start receiving notifications for emails that arrive in your Gmail cloud account.

How to install the Gnome Email Notifications extension

To install the extension, you need to use the Firefox web browser. Open the browser and point it at the Gnome email notifications extension page. If prompted, you will need to install the browser extension first (so that you can more easily install extensions from Firefox). Click the link associated with Click here to install the browser extension (Figure A).

Figure A


Installing the Firefox browser extension for easier installation of the GNOME extension.

When prompted, click Continue Installation, and then click Add. Once this is done, you will need to install other software. Open a terminal window and run the command:

sudo apt-get install chrome-gnome-shell -y

Close and restart Firefox. Return to the Gnome Email Notifications extension page, then click the On / Off slider (Number B) until it is in the On position.

Number B


Activation of the Gnome Email Notifications extension.

When prompted, click Install.

The next step is to activate the Gmail account in Settings | Online Accounts (Figure C).

Figure C


The online accounts settings window in GNOME.

Click Google, then sign in to your Google Account when prompted. Once the login process is complete, you will need to log out of GNOME and log back in. At this point, your Gmail notifications will start appearing in the GNOME notification system by default. If you see one that needs your attention, click on it and it will open Firefox in your Gmail account with that email open and ready to read and reply to.

That’s all there is to adding Gmail notifications to the GNOME desktop environment. Enjoy your new connection to your Google cloud via this simple extension.

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